• SC Minutes 12/19/2012



    School Committee Meeting

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

    Sharon Middle School

    75 Mountain Street

    Sharon, MA 02067

    Present: Jeffrey Cruzan, Katie Currul-Dykeman, Jon Hitter, Laura Salomons, Emily Smith-Lee, Veronica Wiseman

    Also present: Tim Farmer, Glenn Brand, Steven Kaplan, Dr. Kristina Dahlen, SHS student representatives to the School Committee and a members of the community and a member of the press

    L. Salomons called the Open Session meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

    L. Salomons asked for a moment of silence for the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy.


    Open Forum

    There were no community members present for participation in Open Forum.


    There was no correspondence to come before the Committee at this time.

    Student Advisory Committee

    The student advisory committee members updated the Committee on recent happenings/events at SHS:

    • SHS hosted a successful fundraiser promoting gender equality. Guest speaker Jamelle Adams performed slam poetry. Proceeds went to help end sex trafficking in Somalia.

    • SHS hosted a “movie night”. Proceeds went to Shaw’s Food Pantry.

    • December 18th was “Mix-It-Up Day”

    • Secret Happy Holiday Day was today

    • Ugly Sweater Day will be on Dec. 20th

    • Winter Sports is off to a great start

    • Guidance Department is scheduling meetings with juniors – re: the college application process


    Elementary School Foreign Language Program

    Dr. Kristina Dahlen, with the aid of PowerPoint presented an overview of the Foreign Language Long-Range Plan Proposal. The plan addresses recommendations from the F.L. Curriculum Review Committee and the SPS Strategic Plan.

    Suggestions for addressing the sixth grade gap would include:

    • recommending that sixth grade students foreign language instruction occur every other day.

    Long-range plan would include:

    • provide more regular instruction for sixth grade students and provide common planning time for curriculum partners.

    • implement the suggestions of the Future Needs Task Force Committee.

    • putting sixth grade students on an academic schedule would cost approximately $60,000.

    • form a committee for the implementation of an articulated elementary foreign language program.

    • have students study one language gr. 1-5; students could continue with same language or switch in sixth grade; students could continue with same language or switch in ninth grade.

    Following the presentation, there was a Q&A with the Committee.

    Elementary Autism Program

    Steve Kaplan presented an overview of the Autism Program at Heights Elementary School. Highlights from the presentation included:

    • During the in-house transition, consultation will continue with NECC for the foreseeable future.

    • Mr. Kaplan had a follow-up meeting with parents in early November.

    • Updating the classroom environment (i.e. brighter) continues.

    • Home visit and clinic meeting schedules will be expanded.

    • Getting information in a timely fashion from regular classroom teachers will be addressed.

    • A parent survey is being finalized and will be sent to parents in the near future. Questions will address services provided.

    • A permanent substitute IA will be hired for the program.

    • Weekly meetings will continue between the NECC psychologist and the school department’s psychologist, Dr. Ryan.

    In response to a question from a parent in the audience, Mr. Kaplan spoke on the Autism Program at the Middle School.

    Following the presentation, there was a Q&A with the Committee. K. Currul-Dykeman, who was in attendance at the November meeting, highlighted areas of discussion from the meeting.



    A. Consent Agenda

    L. Salomons asked for a motion to approve the following consent agenda items:

    1) Approve meeting minutes –Open & Executive Session Meeting minutes of November 28, 2012

    2) Approve School Calendars for FY 2013-2014 and 2014-2015

    3) Approve $3,285 Full-Day Kindergarten Fee for FY 2014

    4) Approve $300 Refund to 2012-2013 Kindergarten parents

    5) Approve $500 Shaw’s Supermarket Donation to Cottage Street School

    6) Approve $500 FAME donation to Cottage Street School

    7) Approve $2,500 Dedham Savings Donation to Heights Elementary School

    8) Approve Superintendent as Sharon Representative to the CHARMS Board for the 2012-2013 School Year

    9) Approve SHS field trip requests: All State Music Festival (February 2013), Model UN (March 2013, Quiz Tournament (May 2013)

    Prior to the vote, L. Salomons asked to include two more items on the consent agenda:

    10) Approve a donation from a private citizen in the amount of $500 for the Chinese New Year Celebration.

    11) Approve a donation in the amount of $500 from the Eastern Bank for the Chinese New Year Celebration.

    MOTION: (Hitter/Smith-Lee) Moved to approve the Consent Agenda items #1-11. Yes vote: Cruzan, Currul-Dykeman, Hitter, Salomons, Smith-Lee, Wiseman



    • FY 2014 Children’s Center Early Childhood Program Fee

    The Early Childhood Program Fee proposal was placed in the drop-box for member review. The recommendation is to keep the current tuition fee the same for FY 2014. This will be the third year that the program fee has held at the same rate. The proposed tuition rate will be voted on at the January 9, 2013 meeting.

    • Field Trips

    L. Salomons asked G. Brand to speak with principals and to get a sense of what is the actual amount collected throughout the year for field trips. The approximate yearly cost for field trips district-wide is $300,000. There was a discussion on the number of field trips taken over the school year and how they relate to the curriculum. L. Salomons asked that the administration have a specific amount of money set aside to provide scholarships for expensive field trips with a set procedure in place to determine who would be eligible.

    School Choice

    L. Salomons stated that the law requires School Committees to discuss School Choice prior to taking a vote. School Committees must vote yearly by May 1st on whether to participate in School Choice. T. Farmer presented an overview of the law and highlighted his December 18th memo, which provided information on how participation in School Choice would affect the Sharon Public Schools.

    There was a lengthy discussion on the pros/cons of School Choice participation. The School Committee will vote on School Choice at their January 9th meeting.


    Subcommittees & Town Committees


    At the most recent Budget Subcommittee areas of discussion included:

    • tuition fees for kindergarten and early childhood

    • preliminary FY 2014 budget – will be a discussion item at the 1/9/13 S.C. meeting

    • budget forum date will be 1/23-13

    • five-year plan and how it aligns with the strategic plan

    Capital Outlay

    • Capital Outlay tour will be Jan. 12th at 8:00 a.m. meeting at the DPW

    • Capital Outlay Committee requested the track bid specifications

    • Capital Outlay Committee requested the plan for the future use of One School Street

    Rec Advisory

    • Amanda Deni Levasseur has been chosen as the new recreation director

    • a new Mission Statement will be developed

    • a meeting with the SPS athletic director will be scheduled in the near future

    Other Business

    School Safety

    T. Farmer updated the Committee on district-wide school safety. Areas addressed and discussed with administration and the police and fire department included:

    • practice lock-down drills in conjunction with the police department

    • safety protocol

    • update of walkie-talkies

    • classroom safety (locks)

    • fire drills

    • additional resources provided by the police department (meeting scheduled for Jan. 8th)

    Next meeting of the School Committee is scheduled or January 9th.

    There being no further business, L. Salomons asked for a motion to adjourn Open Session.

    MOTION: (Smith-Lee/Hitter) Moved to adjourn Open Session.Yes vote: Cruzan, Currul-Dykeman, Hitter, Salomons, Smith-Lee, Wiseman

    Open Session was adjourned at 9:25 p.m.

    Submitted on behalf of the School Committee by: Helen Campanario, Recording Secretary to the School Committee


    Back-up Materials for the December 19, 2012 meeting


    • PowerPoint presentation – re: F.L. Long-Range Proposal

    • material re: effect of second language learning on test scores, intelligence and achievement

    • correspondence re: school safety and the scheduled holiday concert at Cottage Street School


    • copy of T.F. memo – re: School Choice


    • copy of Executive & Open session minutes from Nov. 28, 2012

    • copy of donation info re: Chinese New Year

    • copy of Shaw’s donation info – Cottage Street School

    • copy of donation re: FAME Cottage Street School

    • copy of field trip requests


    • copy of SPED Parent Questionnaire

    • copy of MIAA article re: sportsmanship

    • copy of SHS PTSO newsletter

    • copy of METCO legislative alert

    • enrollment info

    • Marimba Benefit Concert flyer


    • copy of memo from Counsel to School Committee

    • negotiation info re: STA/School Committee